Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Hide Your Files Inside JPEG Images

Looking for effective ways to hide your sensitive files (porn, pdfs, spreadsheets, invoices, textfiles, etc.)?

There are actually several ways wherein you can hide files: you can put your sensitive files within a folder and apply the hidden attribute to that folder; you can bury your files deeply in subdirectories within subdirectories and hope that no one browses using a file manager; you can change the file name and file extension of a file to something unique and strange, so that no one recognizes it, or you can purchase a file hiding/locking software with password protection and encrypt your files with it; and many more.

But what if we compress our sensitive files in an archive, then hide the archive in a JPEG picture? Sounds interesting? It can also be combined with the above-mentioned methods for added security.

Here's how to do it in Windows (you need either WinRAR or WinZip for this):

  1. Create a folder on your drive and gather the files you want to hide in it including a JPG image where you will hide them into. Ex: I created a folder on my C: drive named "Projects" ("C:\Projects"), then put my sample files in there ("sample1.txt", "sample2.pdf", "sample3.doc"), plus an image file ("image.jpg").
  2. Select all the files in the folder except the image file, add them to a compressed ZIP or RAR file, and rename the archive to whatever you want. Ex. I added my sample files ("sample1.txt", "sample2.pdf", "sample3.doc") into a compressed zip file which I named "archived.zip". My "C:\Projects" folder now has the following files: "sample1.txt", "sample2.pdf", "sample3.doc", "image.jpg", "archived.zip" <-- the compressed sample files.
  3. Click the "Start" button, then choose "Run". Type "cmd" (no quotes) then press "Enter" on the keyboard. A command prompt window will open, type "cd\YOUR_FOLDER", i.e. "cd\Projects" to get into the folder you created, assuming it's located on C:, then press "Enter".
  4. Type the following: "copy /b YOUR_IMAGE_FILE.jpg + YOUR_COMPRESSED_FILE.zip TARGET_IMAGE_FILE.jpg" (no quotes), then press "Enter". Ex. In my case, "copy /b image.jpg + archived.zip twoface.jpg". My "C:\Projects" folder now has the following files: "sample1.txt", "sample2.pdf", "sample3.doc", "image.jpg", "archived.zip", "twoface.zip" <-- the resulting image file with my hidden sample files.
  5. That's it! You can open the resulting image file just like any other image file. To access the hidden archive, just change the resulting image's file extension to "zip" or "rar", then double-click it. You can also right-click on the image file, the open it with either WinRar or WinZip.
To do it in Linux:
  1. Using the terminal, compress the files or folder to be hidden. "zip archive.zip sample1.txt sample2.pdf sample3.doc". archived.zip <-- target compressed file.
  2. Hide the compressed file into the image. "cat image.jpg archive.zip > twoface.jpg". twoface.jpg <-- resulting image file with hidden archive.
  3. To extract the hidden files: "unzip twoface.jpg"
Enjoy! =)

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